Sunday, April 19, 2009

Assateague Island National Seashore

At the end of my spring break, we headed south for a quick camping trip. I was very excited for the rainy weather to let up, and it ended up being a very warm and sunny weekend.
We headed across the border to Assateague Island. This island is basically a big sand bar on the bottom of the Delaware peninsula. The entire island has a complex arrangement of national parks, one in MD and one in VA, as well as a Maryland state park. We camped in the Maryland section of the National Park, on the ocean side. We were in a "walk-up site," specifically #66. There were more sites further in actually in the sand.
We had a great time together, thoroughly deluding ourselves that it was the middle of summer on the East Coast.
Brian enjoying his coffee on the ocean side beach.

The island has a slightly odd terrain. All of the plants and animals have to be adaptable to the arid conditions and sandy soils. It looked fairly familiar to us:

Prickly Pear Cactus/Adapted Trees

We rented a canoe and explored the bay side of the island.

The most enchanting part of the island were the wild horses. They aren't sure how these horses got to the island, but they have been at home and free at Assateague for hundreds of years. These horses came right up to the trail, and didn't seem to notice us at all.

Other wildlife we saw included: birds, ducks, geese galore, cottontail rabbits, turtles, and deer.
Bay Side
On the way out, we also stopped at Dumser's Dairy Land for an ice cream treat to complete the summer feel. The menu was extensive. Brian enjoyed his brownie ice cream sundae, while I had my favorite, a scoop of butter pecan.
We left with a small collection of seashells, as well as fairly intense sun burns.
We definitely plan to visit again!

Tips for (Next Time) Camping at Assateague National Seashore
  • Mini golfing very close to the park
  • Catch a movie at the visitors center
  • Don't forget sunblock
  • Bring bike
  • Get firewood (for a beach fire) or charcoal (the only type of fire allowed at the campsites) before crossing over the bridge.
  • Bring some hurricane lamps to protect candles from the windy conditions.

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